Dallas Cowboys, Jerry Jones Could Still Get Johnny Manziel After All


An ocean of Dallas Cowboys fans held their collective breath during the first round of the 2014 NFL Draft as the unthinkable was happening. Former Heisman winner and Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel was tumbling down the draft board, and the Cowboys were primed to catch him with the 16th selection overall.

Then, Dallas’ owner and general manager, Jerry Jones, did the unthinkable.

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Jones, who was enamored with the thought of Manziel in Dallas, listened to his supporting cast. A group that included his son and the Cowboys’ executive vice president Stephen Jones, Dallas’ head coach Jason Garrett and their assistant director of player personnel Will McClay.

The Cowboys’ owner relented to their combined wisdom and drafted Notre Dame offensive tackle Zack Martin instead of Manziel. It was a decision the elder Jones would later say he initially regretted.

Manziel would continue to tumble down the draft until finally stopping in Cleveland at the 22nd pick overall. And than, the unthinkable happened again.

Martin would go on to have a Pro Bowl-caliber year in Dallas, and was the only rookie to be named the the NFL’s All-Pro first team. His presence solidified the Cowboys’ offensive line and helped America’s Team win their first playoff game in five years.

Manziel spent a majority of his rookie season on the bench, appearing in only five games for the Browns and playing just 79 total snaps. The one significant game he did play in was a mid-December 30-0 blowout at the hands of the Cincinnati Bengals.

In that losing contest, Manziel went 10 for 18 for 80 yards and two interceptions. Known for his stellar scrambling ability, Johnny Football was only able to rush for 13 total yards on five attempts.

This offseason, Manziel voluntarily checked himself into a rehabilitation facility for undisclosed dependency issues. He is expected to be released permanently later this month. But according to ESPN reporter Chris Mortensen, the Browns are all but done with Johnny Football.

"“I think about 90 percent that (The Browns) have moved on from (Johnny Manziel) in their own minds,” Mortensen told ESPN’s Mike and Mike in the Morning on Tuesday. ” Except that they really don’t know who they’re going to get when Johnny leaves rehab, which has been an extended stay, a two-month stay…The bottom line is that Johnny Manziel’s future with the Browns has been in question. When they were putting together half of their new offensive staff, Manziel’s name barely even came up in conversation.”"

When asked who the Cleveland Browns would go with at quarterback this upcoming season, beat writer for Cleveland.com Mary Kay Cabot named three other players before Johnny Football. Then she added:

"“As for Manziel, they’ll see what happens when he gets out of rehab soon. At this point, I don’t think they can get much in a trade. Maybe Jerry Jones is still interested. “"

That’s probably a good bet, Mary. I believe Jones would very much be interested. Especially if the former first round pick costs the Cowboys next to nothing to obtain. Just listen to what Jones told FOX Sports late last month:

"“We do have to look to the future relative to quarterback. It’s starting a timeframe where a guy could come in and be a good backup…Look at how Romo evolved into the guy he is today. He did a little time with the clipboard.”"

When you start putting the pieces together, Dallas could be the perfect landing spot for Johnny Football to develop. But if he’s not careful, it could also be the perfect place for him to destroy his career off-the-field too.

Let’s not forget, this is the same player that completed 68 percent of his passes for 3,706 yards, 26 touchdowns and just nine interceptions his freshman year at A&M. Manziel also rushed for 1,410 yards and 21 touchdowns that same season.

And because Manziel fell to the 22nd selection in last year’s draft, his price tag is relativity inexpensive as he signed a four-year, $8.24 contract after being chosen by with the Browns. And since he was still a first round pick, the Cowboys would have a club option to extend his deal until 2019 if they acquired him in a trade.

But is a trade shipping Manziel to Dallas likely to happen? Only time and Jerry Jones’ heart will tell.

Next: Cowboys Better With Brandon Carr Than Without Him